On Time

Here are some tips to help your child manage routines and time.

Plan Ahead

Daily Routines:
help your child set daily routines for morning, after school and bedtime. A checklist is helpful for your child to remember what to do.

Prepare Ahead:
make morning less hectic by preparing the night before. Make lunches, lay out school clothes, pack backpacks.

Buy a Clock:
get an alarm clock for your child to encourage responsibility for getting up in the morning.

During the Day

Cut Corners:
if your child has a regular routine but is running late, help her cut corners or shorten parts of the routine. For example, she can make her bed when she gets home from school.

Transition Time:
let your child know that you will be leaving and what she needs to do to get ready, for example, “We will be leaving in 10 minutes. You need to have your lunch packed and your rain boots on.”

Praise: give compliments when your child is on time; express appreciation.

Allow More Time:
one child may need more time than the others to get ready. Getting up 10 minutes before the other children may make the difference in being ready on time.

Rhythms and Rituals:
set up a special bedtime ritual with your child. Such as reading a book or talking about the day. Older children may want time to read to themselves before turning out the light.

If All Else Fails…

Off Limits:
if you can’t tear your child away from the TV, games or books in the morning, make those activities off limits before school.

Cut Back:
if your family is always rushing or late, consider cutting back on the number of activities you commit to.

You may reprint these tip sheets, free and without special permission, provided that you include the following copyright statement: © King County Library System, Parent Trust and Washington State PTA.